Belgium to make COVID-19 injections mandatory for healthcare workers – Community News
Covid-19

Belgium to make COVID-19 injections mandatory for healthcare workers

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BRUSSELS (AP) — Health workers in Belgium who do not want to be vaccinated against COVID-19 are at risk of losing their jobs.

Amid a spate of new coronavirus cases that has prompted hospitals to reserve half of their ICU beds for COVID-19 patients, the Belgian federal government finalized a draft bill late on Monday to mandate vaccination of health workers.

From January 1, they have three months to take their photos. During that period, those who remain unvaccinated will be notified of a contract suspension unless they can provide regular certificate of recovery from COVID-19 or negative tests, and are temporarily out of work. From April, workers could be fired without good justification for their refusal.

According to various estimates, about 60,000 health workers across the country from 11.5 million countries are unvaccinated against COVID-19.

The draft bill must be approved by the Council of State and approved by parliament.

The move could pave the way for mandatory vaccination in all sectors, while the political class is gaining support for such a move, although Prime Minister Alexander De Croo said in September he is not in favor of such a move.

The figures on the coronavirus do not look good in Belgium in the run-up to Wednesday’s consultation committee, when De Croo is expected to announce new restrictive measures to stop the increase in new infections and hospital admissions.

Nearly 10,000 new daily cases have been registered in the past seven days, an increase of 27%, while hospitalizations have increased by 28% over the same period. according to figures from the Belgian Public Health Institute. The number of deaths also rose by 27% in one week to 26.7 daily deaths. In total, 26,400 people have died from the corona virus in Belgium.

According to Belgian media that had access to a report from experts advising the government, health specialists are now recommending a temporary shutdown of the entertainment sector and activities where social distancing cannot be properly implemented.

Experts have also proposed making remote work mandatory again until the Christmas holidays, the newspaper said, recommending that a mask be made indoors from the age of 9 instead of 12.

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Follow all AP stories about the coronavirus pandemic at https://apnews.com/coronavirus-pandemic.

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